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Vox Sentences: Deal or no deal

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Trump deals his biggest blow yet to Obamacare and gives Congress the opportunity to kill the Iran nuclear deal; India's supreme court passes a law to protect child brides.


Obamacare sustains another blow

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  • The Trump administration dealt another significant blow to Obamacare late last night, announcing it would end key federal subsidies that help lower the cost of health insurance for low-income Americans. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The change primarily impacts low-income people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid. On average, the cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, gave individuals about $1,000 to help with their out-of-pocket costs. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The impact won’t be felt by people who qualify for subsidies because insurance companies have been preparing for this possibility and have already adjusted their premiums to reflect it. That means people without subsidies will see the cost of their insurance go up the most. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • The Trump administration’s position is that the subsidies aren’t legal because Congress hasn’t been able to authorize them. This is the same position congressional Republicans took when they sued the Obama administration in 2014. [NPR / Danielle Kurtzleben and Scott Neuman]
  • Trump’s move won’t actually save the federal government any money; as a matter of fact, it will add to the federal deficit. That’s because the federal government will have to pay insurance companies more to compensate for insurance premiums going up. [Kaiser Family Foundation / Larry Levitt, Cynthia Cox, and Gary Claxton]
  • And the end of the subsidies will be devastating for people who rely on them for affordable insurance, especially since insurance premiums are expected to increase next year. [NYT / Margot Sanger-Katz]
  • As Vox’s Sarah Kliff summarized, “Trump is enacting a policy where the government spends billions more to insure fewer people.” It could cause about 1 million people to lose insurance. [Vox / Sarah Kliff]
  • Trump’s actions are part of a larger theme: He and his administration seem bent on undoing the Obama’s policies, rather than trying to make them better. [Washington Post / Paige Winfield Cunningham]

Trump punts the Iran deal to Congress

Saeed Shah/MCT via Getty Images
  • President Trump has made it official: He will not recertify the nuclear deal with Iran that was negotiated under President Obama. The deal relaxed international sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country limiting its nuclear program. [NYT / Mark Landler and David Sanger]
  • By doing this, Trump isn’t technically ending the agreement between the US and Iran. Instead, he’s shifting the decision to Congress, which is controlled by Republicans who are very open about how much they despise the deal. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • If Congress decides to put sanctions back on Iran that were lifted by the deal, it could unravel the whole thing. The president also said that if Congress fails to create new legislation to deal with Iran, he will end the deal. [Associated Press]
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly backed up Trump's decision, saying the US shouldn’t continue to enforce a “fatally flawed” agreement. [Associated Press]
  • Trump has accused Iran of violating the terms of the deal, which contradicts his own government, European officials, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. [CNN / Stephen Collinson, Kevin Liptak, and Dan Merica]
  • Iran has been conducting a number of ballistic missile tests lately. While the US and the international community agree that’s trouble, those tests technically are not prohibited under the terms of the agreement. [NPR / Greg Myre]
  • Trump has not given many policy reasons for scrapping the deal; he’s just repeatedly called it bad. His own Cabinet members have reportedly urged him to stick with it, because backing out could potentially be much worse for the US than for Iran. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • European officials have reiterated that they are still in the deal, no matter what America does. French President Emmanuel Macron has previously said he feared that if the deal were discarded, Iran would have no incentive to stop its nuclear program and could turn into another North Korea–style threat. [Politico EU / Maia De La Baume, Jacopo Barigazzi, and David Herszenhorn]

India's Supreme Court closes a sexual assault loophole

Mohamed Hossam/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • India’s Supreme Court has issued a significant new ruling on child marriage, saying that a husband who has sex with his underage wife is committing rape. [CNN / Manveena Suri]
  • It raised the age of consent to 18, closing a major loophole in the country’s laws that said only girls under age 15 could bring rape charges against their husbands.[NPR / Chhavi Sachdev]
  • This had left girls ages 15 to 18 vulnerable, despite the fact the country outlawed child marriage in 1978. [NPR / Chhavi Sachdev]
  • Women’s rights advocates in the country said it made it easier for child marriages to happen in conservative and rural parts of the country, where there is little oversight. [NYT / Jeffrey Gettleman and Hari Kumar]
  • Human rights groups also argued that the law made life more dangerous for many girls; more than 34,000 rape cases were reported in 2015, according to the Indian government. About 40 percent of the country’s women reported domestic abuse, and 70 percent of Indian child brides said their husbands abused them. [Time / Eli Meixler]
  • Even with the change, the new laws could prove very difficult to enforce in parts of the country where child marriage occurs, especially if it happens with the blessing of the girl’s parents. That could make it hard for a young girl to go to the authorities and report a rape, advocates said. [BBC / Geeta Pandey]

Miscellaneous

That collective groan you heard around DC at 1 am was the sound of the Washington Nationals losing their pivotal Game 5 to the Chicago Cubs. [SB Nation / Grant Brisbee]

  • The deadly Northern California wildfires are also having serious impact on air quality in San Francisco. Scientists compared the city’s current air pollution to China’s. [KQED / Lesley McClurg]
  • Sweden’s radioactive wild boar are proof that radioactive contamination spreads far and wide. It’s the lasting effect of the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, which contaminated mushrooms in Sweden. The boar don’t glow green, but you probably still shouldn’t eat them. [Quartz / Ephrat Livni]
  • "Milking" a cone snail is an elaborate bait-and-switch exercise involving one snail, a dead fish, a venomous proboscis, a small plastic vial, and some quick thinking. [Washington Post / Sarah Kaplan]

Researchers have found that dating apps have had already had a big impact on society, by opening up the possibilities of where you can meet a future partner. As a result, they’re finding both more interracial marriages and stronger unions. [MIT Technology Review]


Verbatim


Read this: 20 of America's top political scientists gathered to discuss our democracy. They're scared.

Javier Zarracina

“If current trends continue for another 20 or 30 years, democracy will be toast.” [Vox / Sean Illing]


Watch this: Why we really, really, really like repetition in music

It slays all day. [YouTube / Estelle Caswell]


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